The Union Flag waves on the top of Foreign Office, against the backdrop of a closed and empty London Eye, due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Picture: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali.
The Union Flag waves on the top of Foreign Office, against the backdrop of a closed and empty London Eye, due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Picture: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali.

PICS: What your favourite international tourist sites look like now

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Mar 30, 2020

Share this article:

When covid-19 spread across the world in mere months, none of us could have predicted the impact it would have on travel. 

Just three months since being detected in China, the virus has crippled some of the world's famous tourist destinations, shutting down many landmark attractions in the process. Many countries are in lockdown, and people have to #stayhome in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus. 

Here are some of the international attractions that have been affected: 


Eiffel Tower, France 

A woman wearing a protective mask walks on the Trocadero place in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, 18 March 2020. Urban travel are authorized only on presentation of a daily certificate justifying an activity as France is under lockdown in an attempt to stop the widespread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus causing the Covid-19 disease. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Many visit Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. However, due to the rising covid-19 outbreaks in Europe, the attraction temporarily closed from March 13, 2020. It's unclear when it will reopen considering that France Prime Minister Edouard Philippe extended the lockdown until April 15. 

Eiffel Tower informed travellers on its website: "In the context of the covid-19 outbreak and the latest government health measures, the Eiffel Tower is closed from March 13, for an indefinite period of time." 

E-tickets purchased on the Eiffel Tower website will be refunded.

Those who purchased it from a reseller were encouraged to contact the reseller's after-sales service. 

Machu Picchu, Peru 

Picture: Jasper Ivan Iturriaga/ Instagram account posted on cusco.destinos. .

Hailed as one of the New Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu is among the most respected places on Earth.Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley. The attraction dates back to the 15th century. The attraction closed as part of Peru's State of Emergency declared on March 15 until April 12, 2020. 

Taj Mahal, India 

Picture: Jacob Riglin/Instagram.

The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in Agra. Travellers from all corners of the globe travel to this iconic site. 

Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The attraction that receives thousands of guests daily closed in March. 

This is not the first time the Indian landmark closed down due to unforeseen circumstance. IANS reported that the attraction closed for more than a week during the 1971 war with Pakistan. It also closed for a few days during a flood in 1978. India's lockdown ends on April 15. However, it could extend if the situation does not improve. 

New York, US 

A man crosses 7av in an empty Times Square as the coronavirus disease outbreak continues in New York City. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz


New York's tourism hit a slump since the covid-19 outbreak as many travellers have ditched their plans to visit the famous city. Various tourist sites like the Statue of Liberty temporarily closed down. 

Liberyellisfoundation.org revealed on its website: "Liberty and Ellis Island are currently closed to the public, but Foundation staff continue to work remotely and safely. We are constantly monitoring this evolving situation and the Foundation will be in compliance with any government mandates regarding our operations."

Time Square, a major commercial intersection in  New York City, once one of the liveliest places in the Big Apple, has become somewhat of a ghost town. 

Colosseum and Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy 

A view of an empty road following Italy's lockdown due to coronavirus emergency with the ancient Colosseum standing out in the background, in Rome Sunday, March 29, 2020. Picture: Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP.

Italy is one of the European countries severely impacted by the coronavirus. As Italy remains a high-risk country for travellers, all of its attractions, including the Colosseum and Leaning Tower of Pisa,  has closed down. Other attractions affected include Vatican Museums, Pantheon and Pompeii. The country remains in lockdown. 

Mecca, Saudi Arabia 


Thousands of Muslims travel to Mecca annually as part of Hajj (pilgrimage). However, Saudi Arabia announced it stopped pilgrims from Mecca, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba and also the holy city of Medina in late February. It's unclear when trips will resume. 

London Eye, United Kingdom 

The London Eye is lit up with blue light in support of British National Health Service workers who are treating coronavirus victims. Picture: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali.


The London Eye or the Millennium Wheel, a cantilevered observation wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, is one of the most photographed attractions in London. The attraction closed from March 20 until further notice.

London Eye revealed on its website that it decided to protect the health and wellbeing of their guests and team, which was their top priority.
The UK is currently in lockdown. All its attractions are closed. 

Share this article:

Related Articles